* Comparing trees without merging them

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ColeValleyGirl
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Comparing trees without merging them

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 28 Jul 2019 16:07

I wonder if anyone has found an efficient way of doing this without merging trees...

I am in correspondence with a cousins who has sent me a Gedcom file of their version of our common line, and I want to identify differences and/or extra information (down to facts and associated sources) so that I can determine what if anything to add into my tree (my cousins is willing to send me any sources I don't have to help me assess their work -- and of course I have offered to do the same).

Does anyone have a good methodology for doing this? -- I'm unwilling to merge the trees because I want to verify every fact/change. Or is it a case of slogging through 100 individuals one by one? (Via merge without merging or some other approach)

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Jane
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by Jane » 28 Jul 2019 16:51

Personally I tend to split out the overlap branch into a copy from my tree and use merge compare. You could add a marker source to all items and then merge the new file you can then work through the merged file.
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E Wilcock
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by E Wilcock » 28 Jul 2019 17:09

Output a full report from each tree, (avoiding narrative sentences) and save both as MS Word documents. Then using Word, one can compare two documents?

I did that once when sent a text report. I am not an expert tho.

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AnneEast
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by AnneEast » 28 Jul 2019 21:00

You could make a copy of each with different titles and merge those copies into a 'disposable' file. It would be completely separate from your 'real' files and could be deleted if it doesn't work.
Anne

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by BobWard » 29 Jul 2019 02:38

ColeValleyGirl wrote:Or is it a case of slogging through 100 individuals one by one? (Via merge without merging or some other approach)
Probably something very similar to what you suggest, if you really want to dive into details.

Perhaps open FH twice, in two separate windows on a split screen. Open your tree in one window and the cousin's version in the other window. Then incrementally focus on the same individual in each window and see how details/sources compare in the Property Box. Cut, copy, & paste data as needed.

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arthurk
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by arthurk » 29 Jul 2019 09:54

Is this the kind of thing that GENMatcher from Mudcreek Software might be able to do?

I've never used it, though I've sometimes found GENViewer from the same company quite useful.

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David2416
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by David2416 » 29 Jul 2019 13:41

I thinking the compare two files plugin for Notepad++ might be useful. Creating two gedcom for the relevant set of people from each tree first.
Last edited by David2416 on 30 Jul 2019 06:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by E Wilcock » 29 Jul 2019 16:58

I didnt know one could compare files with note pad. Thank you.

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arthurk
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by arthurk » 29 Jul 2019 18:24

If you compare the files with a Notepad++ plugin, or some other standalone utility, would it only be feasible if the records to be compared were listed in exactly the same order in each file?

And even if you did find a way of using something like that, I suspect you might still need to scroll through the records one at a time to find the differences (or similarities).

This was why I was wondering about a more automated solution that's specifically designed for GEDCOM files.

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by tatewise » 29 Jul 2019 20:07

Yes, to get any kind of GEDCOM file or Report comparison process to work rationally there must be some way of synchronising the records.
It is unlikely that a GEDCOM file will have records in the same order, so Notepad++ probably won't work.
If you can get FH to produce a Report with records sorted by Name for both GEDCOM, then comparing the Report files is more likely to work.
That is where the FH Merge/Compare File or some other GEDCOM comparison tool will be more successful, because it synchronises records based on their Names and Facts rather than their order.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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DonF
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by DonF » 30 Jul 2019 00:07

As mentioned above, I'd use GENMATCHER from MudCreek Software. Not free, but very cheap. Built for just this purpose (comparing GEDCOM files). Has saved me hours of time in the past.

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 30 Jul 2019 06:03

FH has it's own comparison feature built in... but you have to do the whole thing at one sitting (you can't save and resume where you left off) which is why I'm looking for an alternative -- I can't carve out several hours of time to go through it in one go.

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2019 08:19

There is a technique for using the File > Merge/Compare File command in stages.

First make a copy of your master Project to prevent unwanted changes.

Initiate the Merge/Compare File on the copied Project with the supplied GEDCOM.
Review the differences and matches for a subset of Individuals and their associated records making appropriate notes.
When you want a break, complete the Merge process, which will incorporate the records reviewed.

Then repeat that process, but now the Individual records already reviewed will not show any differences.
So you can then focus on a new subset of Individuals and their associated records.
When you want a break, complete the Merge process again, and repeat as necessary...
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 30 Jul 2019 08:46

The technique I've adopted is to open my 'main' project A in one window and a copy of project B I want to compare in another.

I've set up a custom diagram with conditional box colours based on two flags: ReviewedNoAction and NewDataFoundToCheck and display this for Project B, and then in project A do merge/compare with Project B (without ever carrying out a Merge).

Working through the merge/compare in Project A, I can identify what flags I want to set on individuals in the copy of Project B, and will later be able to use the diagram in Project B to determine what new information I want to review and verify before entering it manually into project A.

I prefer not to do a merge at any stage because the data entry standards adopted by the source of Project B don't match the ones I've adopted for Project A (and the way it's been exported has resulted in loads of empty fields, UDFS etc.)

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tatewise
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2019 09:08

I agree you should not Merge into your master Project A.

The Merge that I proposed is only into a dummy Copy Project C simply to allow the Compare process with Project B to be broken into manageable stages.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 30 Jul 2019 09:12

Yes, but I don't see the advantage of doing it that way over my approach?

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2019 09:39

Maybe you are correct.
I'm sure I had seen that technique proposed by another user, but on closer inspection I can't see how it would work.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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ColeValleyGirl
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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 30 Jul 2019 10:13

I think it might work if you actually wanted to do a merge in stages (rather than just compare and make the changes manually).

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by arthurk » 30 Jul 2019 10:28

DonF wrote:As mentioned above, I'd use GENMATCHER from MudCreek Software. Not free, but very cheap. Built for just this purpose (comparing GEDCOM files). Has saved me hours of time in the past.
The website invites you to download a free trial, but doesn't seem to say if that's the full version, or if there are time or feature limitations.

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Re: Comparing trees without merging them

Post by DonF » 03 Aug 2019 00:59

The Mudcreek website says for their other products that "You can downloaded and evaluate all of the features for free, however a license must be purchased for continued use. There is currently no enforced time limit for the evaluation." - which is pretty flexible!

It's so long ago that I bought GenMatcher that I can't remember if the same applies to it, but try for yourself.

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